Sstavix wrote:I was more interested in trying to learn how, if possible, a Christian could justify a left-wing stance like abortion (I could choose a different topic, if that one is too hot-button). Especially if said Christian can't find any biblical justification for such a stance.
I'll bite, since this isn't quite as hot-button an issue for me as some other controversial stances.
I think the problem here is that there is serious and non-trivial disagreement over when life begins. Should every fertilized ovum considered alive? What about those that don't attach to the Endometrium (Uterus lining)? What about miscarriages that she never knew she had? In essence, at what point does it stop being a collection of cells and start becoming human?
And for that matter, how do you even define human? I could go on for ages about Transhumanism and all of that, but that's not really applicable to the issue at hand.
But let's consider the case of Artificial Intelligence. At what point is a computer program considered "sapient," or self-aware? What level of intelligence should it demonstrate (and how would we measure said intelligence?) before we give it consideration as a lifeform? These topics were ones that Star Trek: The Next Generation grappled with. Sometimes very well (Measure of a Man), sometimes not as much (The Quality of Life). In essence, defining Artificial Intelligence is actually a similar debate to defining life in the Abortion debate.
But let's step back to the Abortion debate. The question of when life begins practically dictates the ethics of abortion, and the problem is that no one can agree on precisely when life begins. This is the crux of my stance.
As ChickenSoup mentioned, there are many cases of women who, had they not had an abortion, died. I know one myself. Maybe more that won't admit it. But this is where the issue gets a little tricky for me.
Even if we can agree on when life begins, we hit a problem best described through thought experiment (and attempting to weasel out of it on technicalities is always the wrong answer.
). Suppose a woman is pregnant past the point of what we (in a perfect world) consider to be "alive." This is not in question. But if she continues with the pregnancy, she will almost certainly die (99% probability, perfect world), and her child with her. This is also not in question. The doctor offers an abortion as a way of mitigating this risk. How should she choose?
First, let's look at the stakes. We have two lives. If one is sacrificed, the other will live. If not, they both almost certainly die. In a pure statistical simulation, the answer is fairly clear: abort. But humans are terrible with probability and statistics, and it does seem a bit cruel to apply cold probability to this, does it not? (and I'm glossing over the "value of life" argument that comes up too. Also a legit debate)
And this, beyond the aforementioned issues over defining when life begins, is why I technically support legalization of abortion: I cannot
make this kind of choice for someone. It may be clear to me, the outside observer what the right answer is, but that would deprive them of the agency to choose for themselves. That choice is up to them and their doctor. I don't support it as a means of birth control, but every Christian I know who supports legalized abortion does not as well. I'm in favor of keeping it legal, but requiring a doctor's recommendation or something along those lines.
tl;dr: I don't think abortion is as cut and dry as cold-blooded murder (Will not disagree that in a good number of cases, it is killing), and asking me to choose between killing one to save another is asking the wrong person.
Hope I haven't made it any more confusing...lol
Anyway, I also want to throw out (Not that this was an issue here) that politics, unlike religion, is not an all-or-nothing game. One can
pick and choose what they like. I comfortably place myself left of center in general, but I will disagree strongly on certain issues that are associated with the left wing. Which is why bashing right-wing or left-wing politics and the people who agree with them by pure virtue of associating themselves with that "side," it makes me a sad panda. So when I see vitriol on Facebook like "Look what the evil, pinko commie socialist left
is doing!" or the corollary "Check out what the right
said that makes them look stupid!" I die a little inside. Because while I will wholeheartedly disagree with some issues (and I may chuckle at the attacks not against me), personal and generalized attacks like that serve only to get a rise out of someone and to make the side of the attacker feel better about themselves. They serve no purpose for honest, sincere discourse, whatsoever. The generalized attacks from all sides against "Christians" or "Muslims" or even "Atheists" as a group make me feel the same way.